How To Beat The System

Photo: Sunset on the Ranch – Copyright 2012 Frank J Casella

Back in the day when I started to drive a car, the police were in the beginning phase of using radars to detect the speed you were driving. What followed was the radar detectors so that you would know if you were in the vicinity of the radar.

Well, over the years there has been this back and forth of new radars or detectors as the signals kept getting upgraded. So I recall asking my late father at the time what this is all about. He told me not to worry about it .. that the best way to beat the system was to simply drive the speed limit.

This way there is no reason for the radar or the detector, because we are following the laws or the rules. But, there is something in us as humans that is competitive, or something. Today you might compare this to digital communications, and privacy and security with search engines, browsers, and email.

Enter the Vivaldi browser: “In a world where what we read online is being monitored, stored, and sold to advertisers, Vivaldi Feed Reader is a breath of fresh air. Skip the algorithms and create a private news feed of the latest content from your favorite sources.”

Short of the long, We are PAYING, with our data, to use these services. But we still consider them to be free, which makes us very lenient on them when we get poor value.”

The only way it seems to stay out from under the radar is to stay off the platforms as much as possible, at least for now. Privacy and security is not something you should have to pay for on the free internet.

Truth and Transparency

Photo: Truth and Transparency Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella

The best way to build trust with others, is to be truthful with transparency.

When we rationalize, or cloud things over because we are afraid how others will respond to us, then are we being true to ourselves?

If we don’t know who we are, then how can we expect to be transparent with others, to trust the person they think we are.

Resolving Conflicts

Light and Wood Monochrome – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella. Sometimes, it is important to seek for grace though the darkness, before we can experience elegance from the Light.

The start of strife is like the opening of a dam;
check a quarrel before it bursts forth!

Proverbs 17:14

The arguer insist on his own way.

A conflict resolver looks for a resolution instead of trying to win an argument.

Love means looking out for the other persons interest.

Unresolved conflicts stand as barriers to unity, whether it be friendships, co-workers, politics, or a marriage, etc.

If we don’t find a way to meet in the middle, we become enemies instead of teammates.

So, stop trying to win an argument, and start trying to understand each other.

Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others.

Philippians 2: 3-4

Letting Go To Grow

Photo: Magnificence in the Sky – Square Color Landscape Art Photograph Copyright 2021 Frank J Casella – A magnificent cloud show illuminated by the sunrise, above the silhouetted trees. This image was softened a bit for presentation.

The more we hold on to, the less we give away.

The more we give away, the less we have to hold on to.

Letting go teaches us there is more to life, than just ourselves.

When we give ourselves away, it teaches us how to grow.

The Cure For Feeling Alone

Photo: ‘Remember You Are Precious‘ – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella – “ When you are feeling lonely, when you feel unwanted, when you feel sick and forgotten, remember you are precious to Him.” — Saint (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta

It is normal for all of us to feel lonely at times, and sometimes wonder if life is worth living. To lose site of our gifts and abilities, and purpose.

The good news is there is a cure for this. It is to use the gifts that we are given, to then give back to others. Gifts are meant to be shared.

When you reach out and give, always thinking of others before yourself, a tricky thing happens — that is LOVE – wanting the best for the other person without expecting anything in return.

Whether you are a good listener, a person who provides a service, in the military or first responder to provide for community or country, a parent or teacher to impact lives and minds, making crafts or cooking, touching or hugging, and the many other ways to make a positive difference in the world, you see your value when you thrive on giving.

Author Gary Chapman calls this The Five Love LanguagesWords of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch – whether it’s in a friendship or marriage, work relationships, parenting, or in the community, the idea is to first know and share your love language, then learn to identify and meet others with their love language.

Many times we mostly feel alone when we have an unmet emotional need. When you go out and give to others, this is the best way to find your gifts, abilities, and purpose. …. The best way to find a friend is to be one.

The Benefits Of Being In Community

Photo: ‘Color Birdbath with Flowers’ – Copyright 2019 Frank J Casella: A red and yellow bird bath with purple flowers. and peeling paint.

When I saw this birdbath today, I not only noticed the textures and colors, but also thought about how birds are in community. A birdbath is like the community swimming pool. If you will.

With social media relevant today, why does it seem so many people say they are lonely? It is because our bodies are designed to have interaction with each other, to laugh with and touch each other. The power if a smile is priceless. Yet, there is so much of our society that works towards individualism, pulling us apart.

For example at my church here in America are a number of interest groups, like for youth, or scripture study, or expectant mothers, yet when we worship it is everyone together in community.

If you are into newsletters and mailing lists like I am, you are aware that you can now segment your subscribers into category lists. However, with the mailing lists that I manage, I keep everyone together in community. So that means I have separate categories in one email, and everyone gets (sent) it, they just look at the sections of the newsletter that interests them.

I think that community is where we grow by learning from each other. When we share our differences with each other we learn more (or ask questions) about ourselves. So to pull this all together, the birdbath is a symbol of nature, that God created birds to bath themselves not only to be clean but to have community … there is much in nature us humans can learn from.

Every Life Has A Story

Fog covers city skyscrapers down Michigan Avenue during the morning commute in Chicago Illinois.
Photo: ‘Chicago City Fog’ – Square Color Photo Copyright 2016 Frank J Casella – Fog covers city skyscrapers down Michigan Avenue during the morning commute in Chicago Illinois.

When I look at all the people in the world, I not only see them as a person, but see the story of their lives.

Because it is about stories that make us the people who we are.

I believe that integrity is the main element that we measure each other.

Integrity
n. Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.
n. The state of being unimpaired; soundness.
n. The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.

*From The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

Integrity helps us to evaluate our own life, and get a better look at the impact that we are having on this world.

The more you are grateful for what you have, the more you will have to be grateful for.

Zig Ziglar

Stop and take a good look at your life. Are you where you are meant to be?

Are you doing the right thing?

Are you on the best track for you?

Every life – every person – has a story.

What is your story?

Vivaldi